How to Create a Bootable Fedora USB Drive

Run and install Fedora from a USB drive on a Windows PC

If you want to dual boot Fedora and Windows or if you just want to give the Linux operating system a try, here's how to create a live Fedora USB drive with Windows.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

What You Need to Make a Live Fedora USB Drive

To create a bootable Fedora Linux USB drive for Windows:

  1. Insert a formatted USB drive in an available USB port on your PC.

  2. Download Fedora Media Writer for Windows and install it on your computer.

    Fedora Media Writer for Windows highlighted for download

    Alternatively, you can download the Fedora ISO file and use a tool like Win32 Disk Imager to burn the ISO file to the USB drive.

  3. Launch Fedora Media Writer and select Fedora Workstation.

    Fedora Media Writer with Fedora Workstation highlighted

    If your USB drive isn't formatted, select Restore in the top-right corner. You will lose any data on the drive, so back up any files you want to save, or use a blank drive.

  4. Select Create Live USB.

    Create Live USB highlighted in Fedora Media Writer
  5. Wait for the download to finish and then choose your USB drive. Select Write to Disk.

    Write to Disk highlighted in Fedora Workstation

    If you do anything else on your PC while Fedora is downloading, the download may fail.

  6. When the process is finished, select Close. You now have a live Fedora USB that you can boot and install on Windows.

    Write Fedora Workstation popup window with Close highlighted

Booting Live Fedora From a USB Drive

If your machine uses standard BIOS , all you need to do is to reboot your computer with the USB drive still plugged in. However, if your PC uses the UEFI boot loader, you must first turn off Windows Fast Startup.

It's also possible to create a multiboot USB drive using Windows if you want to run multiple Linux distributions from the same device.

How to Disable Windows Fast Startup

To boot Fedora on a Windows 8 or Windows 10 PC, you must turn off Windows Fast Startup. Here's how:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel and search for power options.

    Windows Control Panel with power options in the search field
  2. Select Change what the power buttons do.

    The Change what the power buttons do selection
  3. Select Change setting that are currently unavailable.

    The Change settings that are currently unavailable selection
  4. Uncheck the Turn on Fast Startup box and select Save Changes.

    Turn on fast startup is unchecked and Save changes is highlighted

    You can turn Windows Fast Startup back on after installing Fedora to your hard drive.

How to Install Fedora From a USB

With the USB drive inserted and Fast Startup disabled, you should have the option to load Fedora when you start up your computer. If you don't see this option, restart your PC and hold down the Shift key until you see the UEFI boot menu. Select Use a device, then choose the USB drive to launch Fedora.

Use a device highlighted on the UEFI boot menu

You can run the full version of Fedora from the USB drive, but any changes you make will be lost when you restart. After you install Fedora on your hard drive, you'll have the option to boot Linux or Windows at startup.

If you don't see the blue UEFI screen, you can manually change the boot order in the system BIOS.